Lacey Priest Accused of Sex Abuse in 1980s

By Nate Hulings
News Tribune
March 15, 2011

A Benedictine priest serving as a member of the monastic community at Saint Martin's Abbey is under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of a minor while he served at Sacred Heart Parish in Lacey during the 1980s.

The priest, who served at Sacred Heart between 1984 and 1986, has been put on administrative leave by his superior at the abbey and can't perform public ministry in the Archdiocese of Seattle while the allegation is under investigation, said Greg Magnoni, spokesperson for the archdiocese.

The archdiocese received word of the alleged sexual abuse late last week from an Olympia-area attorney and forwarded the complaint to the Lacey Police Department, Magnoni said.

"When we get more information, we will begin our own investigation on the allegations," he said, adding that the archdiocese has no details about the alleged abuse.

Lacey police have received the complaint and will look into the allegations with the prosecutor to see what's taken place, Lt. Jim Mack said.

Sexual abuse allegations, if proved credible, result in permanent removal from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Seattle and could lead to the priest being defrocked, Magnoni said.

The Archdiocese of Seattle is asking anyone with information about sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or a volunteer to call the archdiocesan hot line at 1-800-446-7762.

Nate Hulings: 360-754-5476

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